What If 'The O.C.' Characters Had Their Own Spinoffs? Summer Would Be Reality TV's Biggest Star

It's hard to think of a TV show that was more quintessential early 2000s than The O.C. From the fashions — chokers! trucker hats! — to the pop culture references — Bennifer! Death Cab! — to the trends it introduced — Laguna Beach! Bisexual TV romances! — nothing summed up culture in the start of the century more than an episode of FOX's hit show. Even today, the effects of the show can be seen everywhere. Nerd culture, pioneered by Seth Cohen, is finally getting appreciated; star Ben McKenzie is taking on new roles; a parody on SNL , "The Californians," is now a recurring skit. Nearly 12 years after The O.C.'s premiere, its legacy is only growing stronger.

So it might be surprising to some to be reminded that despite the show's impact, The O.C. was actually only on air for four seasons. Sure, those episodes often included more than enough material to totally "OMG" over, but still, it's hard to believe that a show that influential only lasted a few short years. (It was canceled before its time!) It made me wonder: what would it have been like if the series' characters had gotten a chance to continue their storylines? Here's what I imagine seven O.C. spinoffs would look like:

Seth: Atomic County

What better way to show Seth's bright future than in the form of his most valuable creation, Atomic County? The graphic novel was clearly meant for big things, and I imagine that post-O.C., Seth went on to sell the rights to some major company. Now, in the form of an animated TV show (but with Adam Brody voicing the main character, of course), the character's creation lives on, with fans excitedly waiting for each new, reality-mirroring installment.

Summer: Summer Roberts Stylishly Saves The Earth

Initially, Summer (now a famous environmental activist/fashion icon, of course) was against starring in her own reality show, as she felt it was too silly and self-absorbed. But once the network proposed a show that would explore how she balanced her work at GEORGE with her fashion lines, her family, and her relationship with a well-known graphic artist, she was all in. Besides, now that she's famous and has fans, it feels just like she's in The Valley!

Ryan: The O.C., Revived

Last time we saw Ryan, he was a successful, responsible adult asking a troubled teenager if he needed some help, in a perfect, full-circle throwback to the pilot. There's no way this situation didn't turn into The O.C. part two, with Ryan taking on the Sandy Cohen role and some up-and-coming teenage actor playing his former part. Maybe Ben McKenzie could enlist some of his old co-stars to make guest appearances; think Captain Oats has some room in his schedule?

Sandy: Berkeley Law

In the flash-forward at the end of the series, Sandy was shown to have become a law professor at UC Berkeley. I'm picturing a show that focuses primarily on the chaotic, entertaining, ridiculous events of his classroom — we all know Sandy wouldn't be the most conventional teacher — but also gives us the occasional glimpse into his life outside school, raising his young daughter with Kirsten.

Taylor: The French Connection

In France, where she moved following her breakup with Ryan, Taylor's life is insane. She's constantly getting hit on by Parisian men, is working her way up through the French government, and is somehow always involved in some crazy incident or another. What better way to show this than in a dramedy all about her life overseas? Ryan, Summer, and the others would surely make the occasional appearance, and you know it'd be fun to watch.

Kaitlin: Secrets, Lies, & Liberal Arts

A heart-pounding drama, this series would follow Kaitlin's experience at Williams College, where she's shown to attend post-O.C. As typical for the character, nothing goes as planned; there are fights, backstabbing, and murders, and that's just during her freshman year. And we all know Kaitlin, she of the blackmail and inappropriate romances, isn't immune from seeking out the drama wherever she goes.

Julie: The Real Housewives of Orange County

Let's be real. It was bound to happen.

Images: FOX (8)